OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 17, 2012) - The Safe Food for Canadians Act, S-11, reached a key milestone today as it was adopted by the Senate. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Senator Donald Plett highlighted the Safe Food for Canadians Act and the importance of passing it expeditiously so the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has more tools and resources to help keep Canadian food safe.
"Canadian consumers have always been our Government's top priority when it comes to food safety," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This legislation demonstrates the Harper Government's commitment to strengthening Canada's food safety system and we hope this legislation is passed expeditiously by Members of Parliament."
Tabled in the Senate last spring, the Safe Food for Canadians Act modernizes and enhances the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's approach to food safety. The new Act when adopted, will deliver more consistent inspection and enforcement authorities to the CFIA.
Specifically, the Safe Food for Canadians Act will provide the CFIA with some key tools to better protect Canadian consumers. They include:
- An enhanced ability for inspectors to compel food producers to provide information in a timely and standardized manner;
- The authority for CFIA to require traceability systems for food producers by way of regulation.
Together, these measures will help find products faster in recall situations so they can be removed from the shelves quicker and in a more comprehensive way.
The Senate adopted the Safe Food for Canadians Act with an amendment to assess the resources allocated to the administration and enforcement of the legislation tied to its five-year review. This is in addition to the power of the Office of the Auditor General to review these resources at any time.
"The safety of our food supply is vitally important to our economy, communities and all Canadian families," said Senator Plett. "The adoption of the Safe Food for Canadians Act by the Senate is one more step forward by the Harper Government in modernizing and strengthening Canada's food safety system."
The Act also allows for:
- tougher penalties for intentional activities that put the health and safety of Canadians at risk;
- a more consistent inspection regime across all food commodities;
- better control over imports and exports.
For more information on the Safe Food for Canadians Act, please visit www.inspection.gc.ca or contact the CFIA at 1-800-442.